Teresa is a 40 year old woman who has dyslexia, a disability which affects her mobility, anxiety, and depression. Teresa struggles to read letters and communicate with others. She referred herself for advocacy support because she needed guidance and advice regarding her property no longer being suitable for her. Teresa struggled to mobilise up and down the stairs, due to her disability. Teresa wanted support to approach the council and housing association to request a move to a different property which was more suitable for her. Teresa lives with her son, Callum, who occasionally supports her with her personal care needs. 

Paul, a POhWER Advocate, initiated contact with Teresa, by emailing her to introduce himself. A telephone conversation was then arranged as this was Teresa’s preferred method of communication due to her dyslexia. Teresa explained that she struggled with email and written communication. Teresa told Paul that she wanted support to communicate with her housing association as she had been waiting to bid for a more suitable property. Teresa gave Paul the contact details of the housing association and instructed Paul to contact them on her behalf. 

Following on from this meeting, Paul informed Teresa that he would create a client advocacy plan, which would demonstrate her need for support and how he was going to provide it. He provided her with a copy of the plan in easy-read format so that she could refer to this at any point but also explained verbally how he was going to support her step by step and revisited the advocacy plan at a number of stages throughout the process to ensure she understood how she was being supported. Paul also arranged weekly phone calls with Teresa to ensure she was informed about the progress they were making. 

Paul explained that Teresa could be supported by a needs assessment and explained how this could help. Teresa agreed to be referred to the local authority to explore a Section 9 Needs Assessment. Later, Teresa decided not to pursue this option.

Paul spoke with the housing association on Teresa’s behalf, and established where Teresa was in the bidding process. It was confirmed that Teresa was currently not on the priority list for housing and that in order to be transferred to the priority list, she would need to provide proof of her disability which would generally take the form of a GP letter. 

Paul explained to Teresa that she would need written communication from her GP and this would need to be provided to the housing association. Paul was also able to make Teresa aware of her housing officer, Brenda, who could be contacted with any concerns. Teresa was empowered by Paul to contact her GP for a letter in order to be prioritised. 

Once this letter was received from the GP and sent to Brenda, the housing officer, confirmation was provided regarding Teresa's housing status. At that stage, they had no suitable properties for Teresa to bid on. Paul explained to Teresa that if she wanted to, she could enroll in the 'auto bid' process which enabled the housing association to bid for suitable housing on her behalf so she did not have to worry. Teresa was happy to agree to this. Teresa told Paul that she felt relieved and thanked him for the support he had given her. Teresa stated that a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders and she was pleased she now had Brenda as her point of contact regarding the housing situation. Teresa told Paul that he had explained the process well and simplified the stages for her which had really helped her to understand what was happening.